New Initiatives to Increase Inclusion by Talya Kalender, Director of Camp Care
Ramah New England strives to be a welcoming, inclusive community. We continuously evaluate ourselves and work on areas where we want to do even better. We are currently focusing upon two new initiatives:
The first is a working group that will develop specific goals and the means to achieve these goals to make our camps more inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community. Educator Lindsay Fram of Sexually Smart is facilitating four sessions. The group is made up of twelve current and former summer staff members, along with Rabbi Gelb, Talya Kalender and Pamela Kekst from our year-round team. We are inspired by the participants’ commitment to this process and their willingness to give their time and support. This group’s work is ongoing, and we look forward to sharing more as the year progresses.
The second initiative is the participation of a Ramah New England cohort in a DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) training sponsored by National Ramah. Through this initiative, which is being led by Yavilah McCoy of Dimensions Educational Consulting, we hope to learn more about systemic racism; antiracism efforts; and how to apply diversity, equity, and inclusion principles to the work we do at our camps. This has led to productive conversations within our cohort and we look forward to continuing to learn from Yavilah as we think together about how to advance DEI values in our own camp communities.